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Home » Blog » Writing & Language » Writing Instruction » Teaching Narrative Writing: Introductions

Teaching Narrative Writing: Introductions

Literacy, Writing & Language, Writing Instruction

Written by: Katie Palmer

If you are a first or second grade teacher, at some point in the school year you are likely teaching kids about narrative writing. One of the hardest parts for kids when it comes to this type of writing is crafting a strong introduction. Stick with this post to find some fun & engaging ideas to use when teaching your young authors the art of narrative writing introductions!

Ways to Teach Narrative Introductions

Narrative writing can come in the form of non fiction (as in personal narratives) or fiction (stories). Videos and songs are a fun and engaging way to teach either form of narrative writing. There are some great ones for teaching narrative writing introductions too!

Get Narrative Writing Resources

Videos & Songs

1- This first video is a GREAT beginning lesson for students on personal narrative writing introductions. This video highlights four fun ways to hook your reader!

2- This next video focuses on writing a fictional narrative introduction. It focuses on writing an exciting intro!

3- Check out this fun song to introduce narrative writing!

4- This song focuses more on the technical and elements of narrative writing.


Steps for Teaching Narrative Writing

When teaching narrative writing introductions, here is a step-by-step guide.

1. Use a Mentor Text

Introduce students to what narrative writing is using the books mentioned in this great post: 13 Mentor Texts for Teaching Narrative Writing.

2. Set the hook-Engaging Narrative Writing Introductions

Teach students how to “hook” their readers right in the introduction of their stories. Create a class anchor chart that explores the various was to hook a reader:

Onomatopoeia

Using a sound word such as “Boom” or “Crash” is sure to get your reader's attention!

Question

Starting your narrative writing with a question will get the reader thinking and connecting with the story right away!

Action

Start the story off with an exciting event or action! Example, “I rushed down the hallway. I could not be late again!”

anchor chart describing six ways to hook a reader in the introduction of a narrative piece of writing

Flashback

Using flashbacks is a great narrative writing introduction because it is unique and gets attention!

Dialogue

Starting a narrative with a conversation inserts the reader right into the story!

Fact

Sharing a fun fact right away is sure to hook the reader, and might even teach them something new!

Creating and displaying a chart like the one below is sure to get your students using a writing hook to write amazing narratives!

3. Talk About Illustrations

Another great way to get readers excited to read student writing is using detailed illustrations. It is super helpful to show students a what good writing samples & illustrations look like. (Rather than just saying, “Use more details in your drawings!)

A visual writing bulletin board is perfect for this. Displaying examples of amazing illustrations & writing as well as examples that need more work allows students to visually see how writing and illustrations can be improved.

visual example of a proficient leveled piece of 2nd grade narrative writing

4. Model it!

Lastly, you need to model narrative writing yourself! Teach a step by step method. It is best to follow the I do, You do format.

I do: teacher uses a graphic organizer to plan their narrative (especially the intro!)

You do: Students fill out the same organizer based on their narratives idea

graphic organizer template for planning narrative writing

Need graphic organizers or prompts? Or visual rubrics? The Narrative Writing Pack has everything you need to kickoff your narrative writing unit!

Get Narrative Writing Resources

Read More about the Organizers Here: How to Help Your Struggling Writers This Year

Shop it here: 1st & 2nd Grade Writing Prompts

Happy teaching!

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